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Ask many Americans to name a battle of the Civil War and their first response will likely be Gettysburg.

The Pennsylvania battle has earned a place in history and popular culture. Known as the war’s turning point, the battle saw more casualties than any other in the war.

Research by Gen. John A. Logan Museum executive director P. Michael Jones, however, hasn’t found any ties between Southern Illinois and the infamous skirmish.

“I haven’t seen any deaths at Gettysburg,” he said. “The majority of our troops were dying in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. If there were any out there, they were healthy.”

Jones’ research has focused on troops from the lower 19 counties and does not include the St. Louis area.

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The second year of the war, marked notably by Gettysburg, did see its share of loss for Southern Illinois, though. So far, Jones has found 1,020 fatalities — but less than 100 were from combat. Sickness spread throughout the nation, costing many soldiers their lives.

“People weren’t fighting, but you had people dying every day,” Jones said. “Every day, from sickness.”

 

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